Skip to main

Embrace Mistakes to Become a Better Social Media Pro

Authors: Jess Ostroff Jess Ostroff
Posted Under: Social Media
Listen to this Article

Social Pros Icon

Another month, another incredible round of guests on the Social Pros Podcast. In April, we chatted with the manager of a huge social media team at KLM, an author on thought leadership, Pet360’s PR and social media expert, and the two-man social media team of Canadian yo-yo company CLYW.

This month’s Social Pros come from three countries: Canada, the Netherlands, and the U.S. Among them, they’ve studied law, theology, film & TV, mechanical engineering, and performing arts. Their responsibilities span from leading a social media team of over 150 to designing yo-yos. They each have a piece of advice for us:

  • Embrace mistakes
  • Set goals
  • Listen
  • Interact


KLM Manager Social Media, Karlijn Vogel-Meijer

Karlijn Vogel-Meijer - How a Volcano Created a World-Class Social Media ProgramKarlijn Vogel-Meijer is the Manager Social Media at KLM (the Royal Dutch Airlines). She oversees a social media team of 150 who provide customer support 24/7 in 14 languages.

But KLM isn’t just on social for customer support, of course. At last count, KLM is doing $26 million (US dollars) a year in direct social media sales, based on last touch, 30-day cookie conversion.

Facebook is KLM’s main “cash cow” because of advanced targeting options. “We found out that if we have a specific offer to a specific destination and we target the right people, we’re actually able to sell out a whole plane.”

Karlijn has seen great success with things like Facebook’s advanced targeting and the viral Sherlock, the lost and found dog video by embracing the fact that mistakes will be made. For example, if you look at KLM’s social media campaigns last year, they were on every channel. They felt the need to be everywhere. But that just wasn’t working. Now they’ve learned to focus their efforts on channels that are able to support the three pillars of their strategy: service, brand reputation, and commerce.

“I believe that if you want to conquer the social word, you shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes because you’re going to make them anyway. Everybody does.”

Read on for the full highlights:

“Stand Out” Author, Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark - Why You're Not Going to Be a Thought LeaderDorie Clark is a thought leader on thought leadership, and the author of “Reinventing You” as well as her brand new book “Stand Out,” released April 21. She’s gotten to where she is today through having patience, taking risks, and setting goals.

Setting goals that are measurable is important. The human brain is wired to shift goal posts. For something as abstract as a goal of being successful as a thought leader, it’s easy to skip victories in a constant effort to keep moving forward.

“Once you get close to the thing that you thought, ‘Five years ago, if I had accomplished this it would be so amazing.’ When you finally accomplish it, you’ve already moved on. Your brain is gone. You’re like, ‘Oh yeah, whatever. Guy Kawasaki is doing a lot better than that.’”

Dorie says you can set goals any time, but she loves doing New Year’s resolutions. For 2015, to be as nimble as possible and ready to pivot and adjust, she decided to set six-month goals instead of year-long. This January, she set three.

“I wanted to make my book launch, my Stand Out launch be a bestseller. I wanted to double the size of my email list by the end of the year. And, I wanted to get a girlfriend. Those are my three goals for the first half of 2015. I decided that I would just center everything around those goals. I’ll have a pretty clear yardstick about whether or not I’ve succeed.”

Read on for the full highlights:

Pet360 Social Media Manager & PR Specialist, Jon Steiert

Jon Steiert - How Big Brands Get Permission to Use UGCJon Steiert is the Social Media Manager & PR Specialist at Pet360, Inc, where traffic from social to the website has gone up 800% since his start in September of 2013. That’s due, in large part, to the ability to spend more time and resources on developing their strategy.

The Director of Communications had previously been split among the three brands in addition to internal communication and PR. When Jon came on, he was able to say, “You know, we need to put some greater emphasis on the content that we have and really dig into the CMS to see what people are interested in.”

There is never a shortage of content to post on social media thanks to the 75–80 pieces of content created each month in-house or by freelancers and the huge amount of user-generated content they utilize from pet owners. Collecting feedback and paying attention to which pieces resonate has been key to Pet360’s success on social media.

In addition to listening to your audience, Jon also highlights the benefits of listening to those who know more than you do in the social media sphere. Jon feels a lot of his growth and success has come from things like listening to the Social Pros Podcast and having a mentor. In 2012, Jon responded to a Tweet requesting help with some data entry from Jeff Gibbard, who has continued to be a mentor to Jon ever since.

Read on for the full highlights:

CLYW Marketing Manager, Steve Brown & Owner, Chris Mikulin

Steven Brown & Chris Mikulin - How to Find Your Fans on Facebook but Connect with Them on Snapchat

CLYW is a Canadian high-end “return top” company. (Yo-yo is trademarked in Canada.) They are constantly selling out of their limited-edition products and are the #1 yo-yo company on social media.

You’d think CLYW would have a social media team in place, but in fact, Owner, Chris Mikulin, and Marketing Manager, Steve Brown are actually behind each post on their channels.

While it’s a lot of extra time for them both, they aren’t ready to give it up. They love being able to directly connect with their audience, and they’ve built a very active and loyal fan base by doing so.

What does “no hashtag left behind” mean? It means they respond to every post across social media platforms. They know their audience doesn’t like being marketed to, so instead they focus on telling stories, sharing quality photos and videos, and interacting on a conversational level.

To do that, they use Facebook and YouTube for videos, Instagram for photos, and Snapchat for goofy, fun one-on-one interactions with fans who reach out. Right now, if you snap directly at clywcanada, you will get a response directly from Chris. This combination is working really well for them: They have the most used yo-yo related hashtag in the industry right now and are the #1 yo-yo company on social media, with three to four times more engagement than anyone else in the field.

Read on for the full highlights:

Blog Banner Image

Get our best tips in your inbox! Join the smartest marketers who receive our ON newsletter.

Join the Social Pros LinkedIn Community

Join a community of real social pros doing social media on LinkedIn. Receive all the inspiration and ideas straight to your feed and add your thoughts to the conversation.

Follow Social Pros on LinkedIn

Subscribe to Social Pros Podcast

b2b influencer

Ready to Get Started?

I am looking for...